Mr. PQ and I wish for the Quills to be well rounded and to neither hold back nor be held back from exploring all the facets of their personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. At times this has called for a little Mrs. PQ “mom nudge”, like signing the 5th grader up for tackle football league, knowing that linemen don't need so much coordination and team sports shouldn’t be defined by the ball hogs and the hyper-athletes who rule the soccer field at recess.

Turns out football wasn’t his thing, but he did indeed come away understanding what true sportsmanship looks like, and he applied that lesson over the next 7 years of choral and theater auditions, competitions and performances. In the same vein, when the oldest Quill declared in 8th grade that she wanted to play rugby, I grimaced, and then proceeded to take 10 years off the longevity of my voice cheering like a Bronco fan for five thrilling seasons. It has been one of my greatest pleasures as a mom to support, cheer, applaud and celebrate (the wins and the losses, the successes and the failures) of the four Quills as they have explored sports of all varieties, the fine arts and the not so fine arts, the culinary arts, creating, writing, and inventing. So, when I opened our home computer this morning and discovered this, written by the youngest Quill, I did a little more than tear up.

When You Look At Me

People think they know me
People think I am smart
When the truth is, I struggle in school
I take pre-calculus and honors chemistry
But this does not mean I am a nerd
I play tennis for a state championship team
This does not mean I am a jock
They think something about me
that is wrong
I play percussion in the band
I like to sing
But this does not mean I am abnormal
They judge me this way, but
That is not correct.

These things do not affect me
Do not persuade who I am
I am still me
And that will not change